For new and experienced bicyclists, Mt. Juliet is the place to be for a community bicycle ride to recognize Bicycle Safety Month Sunday afternoon.
The Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) will host the ride that meanders through the heart of Mt. Juliet. In conjunction with the ride, the Mt. Juliet Police Department will conduct a bicycle rodeo at the ride's start point at the Music City Star parking lot near Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street.
Mt. Juliet City Commissioner and BPAC Chairman Art Giles said the bike ride is 5.8 miles and is intended for riders of all ages and skills. It starts at 2 p.m. at the train station and will loop back. The course will travel north on Mt. Juliet Road and utilize the bike lane. It will continue through the Mt. Juliet Middle School parking lot and Woodland Place neighborhood and back.
"Warmer weather marks the start of the summer cycling season, and the BPAC is reminding cyclists and motorists alike to share responsibility for roadway safety," Giles said. "We encourage all area cyclists to join us for this leisurely ride and help call attention to bike safety."
Giles said this specific course was chosen to demonstrate a green way to travel, as well as show the connectivity within Mt. Juliet's neighborhoods, schools, churches, shopping, parks and mass transportation. There is no preregistration and the first 100 participants will receive a "goodie bag." Giles said the event will be canceled if it rains.
Annual Bicycle Rodeo to be held
As part of the event, the MJPD will conduct their annual bicycle rodeo at the train station, according to MJPD Cpl. James Christensen. He said the rodeo is "designed to help new and young riders become better and safer bicyclists."
"It's a bicycle skills event that provides an opportunity for bicyclists to practice and develop skills that will help them avoid typical crashes," Christensen said.
As part of the rodeo, The Bikers Choice and Ride 615 will provide free bike inspections and helmet fittings. Additionally, the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club will sponsor a child's bike give away. Giles said attendees 12 years and under are eligible to win. The drawing will be after the ride, and you must be present to win.
The bikers will follow a Fire Department of Mt. Juliet fire engine, and the Mt. Juliet High School Mountain Bike Team will serve as the grand marshal. All cyclists must wear a helmet and sign a waiver.
Giles said the Mt. Juliet BPAC is comprised of volunteers from the community "with the expressed purpose of guiding the city plans for safe walking, running and cycling infrastructure improvements. It is an advisory committee to the Mt. Juliet City Commission and has no decision or policy-making authority.
"It is really great Mt. Juliet is bike friendly," Giles said. "We like to encourage green transportation, that's a great selling point for people looking to move here."
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.